Report: Number of Americans who need long-term care will double by 2065 | Wednesday Morning Coffee

June 30, 2021 7:17 am

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Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

If we’re not there already, all of us are going to get older, and the data shows that we’re going to need help taking care of the fundamental tasks that we once took for granted.

And as new research points out, the number of Americans who will need such long-term care is only going to get bigger. In fact, it will double by 2065, going from 7 million people to 14 million people, according to a report by, an industry trade publication, that dives into data compiled by the Urban Institute.

By 2050, more than 10 million Americans will “require substantial assistance with at least two activities of daily life, or supervision due to severe cognitive impairment,” the research concludes.

And it’s expensive.

American men turning 65 between 2020 and 2024 can expect to spend an average of $143,000 on long-term care and need it for 2.3 years, while American women will spend an average of $176,000 and spend 3.2 years utilizing such care, the research found.

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So who’s going to pay for it? Chances are that you will.

That’s because Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care and Medicaid only does after people become impoverished. And that means that many older Americans and their families will have to pick up the check by themselves, the research indicated.

“People think Medicaid is delivering a lot of long-term care, but in fact the disableds’ families are,” the report’s author, Melissa Favreault, told the trade pub. “And we expect that to increase in the future.”

Right now, Medicaid only covers about half the cost of Americans’ long-term care, the trade pub notes, or about 0.4 percent of GDP. And while that figure is expected to stay the same, costs are expected to rise “dramatically,” and few Americans can afford expensive long-term care insurance, the trade pub reported.

“It’s critical to save for long-term care,” Favreault said. “Some find the best way to do this is to buy private long-term care insurance, but there are a lot of challenges in this market.

“That said, for a lot of people saving is critical,” Favreault continued. “You have a pretty good chance of facing expenditures in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for many middle and lower income families that level of savings is very difficult.”

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.
The Republican-controlled Legislature says it put money into this year’s state budget to pay for future election audits – but it’s not clear that state Auditor General Tim DeFoor, whose agency has been tasked with that, has the authority to do it, Stephen Caruso reports.

A name change is one of the most important steps a transgender or nonbinary person can take as they embrace their true identity. It’s also massively expensive and a logistical nightmare, a state Senate panel was told Tuesday. And some say it’s time to change thatMarley Parish has the details.

When the Biden administration announced changes to the Endangered Species Act earlier this month that expanded protections for more than 2,500 species across the nation, familiar Pennsylvania backyard birds such as warblers, robins and sparrows, also indirectly benefited, Cassie Miller reports.

Pa.’s U.S. House Republicans split on a vote to remove statues of Confederate leaders, and a bust of the Dred Scott decision author, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Laura Olson, with an assist from me, writes.

In a trip to the swingiest congressional district in the swing state of Wisconsin, President Joe Biden detailed a bipartisan deal on infrastructure, focusing on how it would help families and workers across Wisconsin and the country, Henry Redman, of our sibling site, the Wisconsin Examiner, reports.

On our Commentary Page this morning, a transgender advocate for the state branch of the ACLU says it’s long past time for lawmakers to pass anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians. And opinion regular John A. Tures explains what’s driving the rise in homicides — and what we can do about it.

Philadelphia City Hall (Image via

In Philadelphia, officials are racing to distribute rental assistance before evictions begin, the Inquirer reports.

The director of Westmoreland County’s Elections Bureau has been ousted after being suspended without explanation earlier this month, the Tribune-Review reports.

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a Native American, has ancestral ties to the Carlisle Indian School, which is being investigated for its racist and painful legacy, PennLive reports.

Job growth stayed flat in Lancaster County in May, but it’s expected to improve, LancasterOnline reports.

Allentown City Councilmember Ce-Ce Gerlach, who maintains her innocence, has been charged with failing to report child abuse, the Morning Call reports.

Benefiting from extra state funding, the Wilkes-Barre Area School District approved a no-tax hike budget on Tuesday, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

USA Today’s Pennsylvania Capital Bureau takes a look at what got done — and what didn’t — this budget season.

Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart has called on Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration to immediately add more corrections officers to the city’s jails, WHYY-FM reports.

Pennsylvania plans to spend just $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Money in the coming fiscal year – some similarly sized states plan to spend moreWITF-FM reports.

Erie County’s Office of Children & Youth will hire more employees to meet a state mandate, GoErie reports.

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, of Lehigh Countywill be the first visiting fellow at Penn State’s McCourtney Institute for DemocracyPoliticsPA reports. Dent is a Penn State alum.

The Biden White House’s U.S. Supreme Court study commission holds its first meeting on Wednesday, and there’s no shortage of proposals to change the high courtRoll Call reports.

Here’s your #Philadelphia Instagram of the Day:


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What Goes On
A sure sign of the impending holiday weekend: The docket is clear. Enjoy the silence.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
Fundraising, however, is eternal. Rep. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, holds an 8 a.m. breakfast at Old Town Deli in Harrisburg. Admission runs $250-$1,000.

Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers will gather on the Capitol steps at 10 a.m this morning to talk about the education funding increase in the state budget. At 12:45 p.m, Wolf jumps on a Zoom call with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to talk about new infrastructure investments in the state.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Super, mega, wicked good wishes go out this morning to Capital-Star opinion contributor Anwar Curtis, of Harrisburg, who completes another trip around the sun. Congratulations, old friend. Enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s ‘See the World,’ from singer/songwriter Brett Dennen, which evokes the late Tom Petty so effectively and so vividly that you may find yourself missing him all over again.

Wednesday’s Gratuitous Soccer Link
Football’s coming home, indeed. England surged past Germany with a pair of second half goals, securing both a historic 2-0 win, and a berth in the Euro 2020 quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.